Syrian Bishop Warns of Psychological Toll of Conflict

Mobilizes Caritas to Provide Psycho-Social Assistance to Refugees

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A Syrian prelate has warned of the effects of the ongoing conflict, saying that it is “killing the Syrian people at a psychological level.”

Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, President of Caritas Syria, gave an account of the effects of the conflict at a Caritas Syria meeting held in Lebanon.

He said that for the first time, Caritas workers are operating in six regions  of the country. «They realized the critical situation the country is experiencing and what they are called to deal with especially in terms of human aid”, he said according to Fides.

«In addition to food parcels, health care and relief to the poor, we have identified two new fields of action: psycho-social assistance and the help to engage young Syrians in micro-work projects, especially in villages and in the countryside.”

Bishop Audo went on to say that providing such assistance will prevent further devastation of the lives of children and young people traumatized by the conflict.

“We have decided to take this new direction linked to work and psycho-social assistance. But this also requires time and training. Our operators had never imagined having to cope with a humanitarian commitment of this magnitude,” he said.

The Syrian prelate also said that Caritas is counting on help from its affiliates in Italy, the United States, Germany and France to help in providing psycho-social assistance. The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Syria, which took place last week in Beirut, said a collection will take place on the first Sunday of June. All proceeds will be donated to Caritas. (J.A.E.)

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